Can and Should Sociology be Value Free. this essay is about the aim of sociology that is to be value free and whether it can and should achieve that aim

Essay by onegaiCollege, Undergraduate January 2004

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The term value neutrality was used by Weber to indicate the necessary objectivity researchers need when investigating problems in the natural sciences. Weber even though had introduced the term and accepted a scientific in the study of sociology, he did not believed that absolute objectivity is attainable.

Weber said that value neutrality should be the primary aim in sociology but it cannot be obtained since sociology is the study of human behaviors and society thus making it prone to personal views and value judgments. He recognized that values would influence the choice of topics for study. The reason for his claim was, sociologists had to choose from the vast knowledge in sociology to be studied. Inevitably, this will result value judgments to be made. Weber also believed that once a topic has been chosen, researchers should be objective in conducting experiments and proving their theories.

Objectivity means that the conclusions arrived at as the result of inquiry and investigation are independent of the race, colour, creed, occupation, nationality, religion, moral preference and political predisposition of the investigator.

If hi research is truly objective, it is independent of any subjective elements, any personal desires, that he may have, Bierstedt (1963). Having said that, one can argue whether it is impossible for sociology to be value free because in order for it to become objective it has to confine itself to so many criteria and conditions. It seems as if it is impossible for sociology to be value free since it is the study of humanity and society which of course cannot be freed from making value judgment. How can it be value free if it cannot be independent from bias in race, color, creed, occupation, nationality, religion, moral preference and political standings? Like Weber, Myrdal believed that objectivity is ideal to...